This is a hybrid of other calzone recipes found online and also born out of necessity and my lack of ingredients. It’s the day before Halloween and I have the ingredients to make pizza. Only problem is that we’re having pizza with friends tomorrow night so I’m trying not to duplicate dinner two nights in a row.
I figured calzone would be a good alternative. Only problem being that most recipes call for ricotta to make it moist inside. Well, I have cream cheese…couldn’t be that bad as a substitute, right?
First, I took my pre-made pizza dough out of the refrigerator and cut it into four equal pieces. I use a bench scraper to cut the dough but a knife would work just as well. I use the scraper to clean the pizza stone too. (This is probably not a recommended use, but it’s better than dulling my cooking knives and it works great!) I placed the pieces of dough on a lightly floured pizza peel so they could come to room temperature and rise a bit. (I forgot to take a picture of this step.)
I also preheated my oven to 475° F and put my pizza stone in the middle rack. The secret to pizza with a crispy bottom crust is a hot pizza stone. Same goes for calzone. Sometimes I forget to turn on the oven and heat the stone because I’m so anxious to cook (riiiight). But don’t you do that!
I sliced a package of organic crimini mushrooms and threw them into a small non-stick pan with a bit of olive oil. You could use button mushrooms if you don’t have brown. I french cut a small organic yellow onion and added that to the mushrooms. I let them cook on medium-low heat until the mushrooms started to soften. Then I added a cup of organic broccoli florets. After a few minutes I added three cloves of organic garlic (chopped), a teaspoon of dried organic basil, a teaspoon of dried organic oregano, a pinch of kosher salt and a few turns of fresh cracked organic black pepper. I let everything cook until the broccoli was soft, a few more minutes.
Side note: I have a small pan that I use for sauteeing ALL. THE. TIME. It’s the only thing I purchased from “As Seen on TV” that was not a gag gift. In fact, I got the deal where you get two pans and only pay S&H for the second pan. I gave the extra to my good friend she still uses hers. This was several years ago!
And now back to calzone…while the vegetables were cooking, I mixed about a half cup of organic spaghetti sauce with 4 oz of organic cream cheese, softened. It combined fairly easily, but looked pretty gross. I thought of dog barf. I don’t own a dog. Remember, this is my hack since I didn’t have ricotta. If you have it (ricotta), go ahead and use it.
I remove the vegetables from the pan and added four sliced pre-cooked italian sausages. If you have fresh sausage, go ahead and use it. Squeeze it out of the case and break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. I browned the sausage and then added it to my bowl of veggies.
I let the veggies and sausage cool for a few minutes, then I added the dog barf, umm, I mean cream cheese and sauce mixture.
Now it’s time to assemble!
I took one of the pieces of pizza dough and stretched it out to about a 1/4″ thick oblong disc. Maybe a little thinner. Make sure there are no holes in the dough. Add as much filling as you can to half of the disc while leaving enough room to fold the dough over. Add a handful of shredded organic mozzerella cheese to the mixture. Fold over the dough and pinch the edges together. It will look like it’s about to burst.
Repeat for all remaining pieces of dough. You may end up with extra filling. I did and I put mine in the refrigerator. I hate to waste food so I will find a way to use it. I’m making mini-frittatas tomorrow and I may add the mixture to my eggs.
Carefully place the four calzones on the pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Serve with warmed spaghetti sauce.
- 1 package organic crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small organic yellow onion, frenched (chopped would be fine too)
- 1 cup organic broccoli florets, small pieces
- 3 cloves organic garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried organic oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried organic basil
- ½ cup organic spaghetti sauce
- 4 oz softened organic cream cheese (or ½ cup ricotta)
- 4 pre-cooked italian sausage links (or fresh)
- 1 cup Shredded organic mozzrella cheese
- Spaghetti Sauce for dipping
- Preheat oven to 475° F.
- Cut pre-made pizza dough into four pieces and place on a lightly floured pizza peel or cutting board.
- Saute mushrooms and onion in olive oil until soft. Add broccoli, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cook until broccoli is just softened. Remove from pan.
- While vegetables are cooking, mix spaghetti sauce and softened cream cheese (or ricotta) in a small bowl.
- Add sliced sausage (or uncooked sausage) to the pan and brown. If using fresh, cook thoroughly. Add the browned sausage to the vegetable mixture and let cool a few minutes.
- Stir the cream cheese into the vegetable sausage mixture.
- Stretch dough into discs and add the sausage mixture to one half. Sprinkle mozzerella on the mixture and fold the dough over to form a pocket and seal the edges.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving with warmed spaghetti sauce.